Launched in 2014, Bittrex is a cryptocurrency exchange based in the United States that offers one of the most impressive varieties of tradeable assets around. The company works closely with US regulators to ensure its compliance with an evolving set of guidelines.
An Introduction to Bittrex
Bittrex has a healthy volume that is just under the daily volume of GDAX, but it’s wider array of cryptocurrencies means that per coin volume is comparatively less. This leads to low liquidity in certain circumstances, namely for those coins listed on Bittrex exclusively.
While it used to be known for haphazardly listing cryptocurrencies without properly vetting them first, the exchange recently removed over 82 low-liquidity coins from its platform. They’re now taking cues from regulators and have raised their standards, much to the benefit of traders and investors. Despite that Bittrex doesn’t incorporate fiat money to the same extent as some exchanges, it still protects user accounts with 2FA and other crucial security measures.
Getting Started with Bittrex
As far as crypto-to-crypto exchanges go, Bittrex is easy to sign up for and only requires the most basic of information.
Creating a Bittrex Account
All that Bittrex asks for is a verifiable email address and some other straightforward details like your name and phone number, and then you’re good to go. You can also scan your ID (driver’s license or passport) and send it to the exchange to improve the security of your account, but not doing so will not impact your trading. Most traders will find that getting started with any non-fiat exchange is similarly simple, and takes at most a few minutes. Still, for its basic signup system, exchanges like Bittrex provide excellent security and help more advanced traders gain exposure to the full spectrum of small to large capitalization cryptocurrencies and tokens.
Funding Your Bittrex Account
While the main distinction between fiat-enabled exchanges and crypto-exclusive exchanges is no reason to vote one better than the other, Bittrex does lose some points for being a bit complicated. To fund an exchange account, you must do so by sending cryptocurrency from an outside wallet to the correct wallet in the exchange. For the uninitiated, this can be daunting.
Every cryptocurrency has its own wallet, and to find the deposit address for any single coin, you can search for it on the Wallets page or click on the Buy button in the main trading dashboard. A popup will show you how to generate a wallet address for Ethereum, for example, which you then copy and paste into the wallet you’re sending from. The crypto will appear in Bittrex per the speed of that coin’s blockchain confirmation system.
New on the exchange is the ability to buy BTC, ETH, or Tether with a bank wire. For customers that verified their identity and address, it’s easy to buy crypto via the bank, but there are no real fiat wallets nor the possibility to withdraw fiat money.
Trading with Bittrex
For those crypto traders and investors accustomed to seeing figures in US Dollars or Euros and straightforward, well-organized windows, Bittrex will be slightly intimidating. To find the market for any cryptocurrency or coin, you’ll have to search for it on the Markets page and make sure that the counter currency is relevant to you.
If you have BTC, for example, then the BTC Markets page is where you need to be. This is where all charts and information is denominated in BTC, which itself is confusing for some people. You’ll see that the exchange has trading pairs for BTC, ETH, and USDT (Tether), which is a stablecoin that mimics the value of the US dollar. Tether is a good way to keep “cash” on the exchange without extra exposure to volatility.
The dashboard does its best to cram every function into one screen, and has a very plain way of representing data. Scrolling down on the trading screen reveals a plethora of extra windows. Absent are the smooth curves and round numbers present in some more user-friendly exchanges, but Bittrex trades aesthetics for greater functionality —much like the difference between a Mac and a PC. Those who get used to it will quickly prefer it.
Unlike many exchanges, traders who have the patience to use limit orders will still incur fees, which are unfortunately on the high end of the industry spectrum for trades. Thankfully, withdrawing cryptocurrency from Bittrex is inexpensive, and depositing is free.
Limit Orders: 0.25%
Market Buy: 0.25%
Market Sell: 0.25%
Security, Support, and Compliance
Security: Though cryptocurrency systems are already inherently secure and Bittrex doesn’t deal in cash, they still provide 2-factor authentication to further defend customer accounts, and meet high-tier security standards for their website, customer funds, and data.
Support: Support is relatively light, and leaves a lot to be desired. The exchange only handle customer inquiries and problems via email, and take a while to respond.
Compliance: As far as compliance goes, Bittrex is refreshingly transparent with regulators and works with both state and federal entities in the US.
Advanced crypto enthusiasts who seek greater opportunities and want to apply more in-depth trading strategies will appreciate the exchange for its deep, if unforgiving user interface. Among crypto-to-crypto exchanges, Bittrex is ranked very well and enjoys loyalty from a large portion of the cryptocurrency community. It helps to be based in the US, and though ambiguous regulations have stopped Bittrex from listing new coins at such a fast rate, the variety of assets already on the platform will please even the most diversified trader.